EA's certainly taken its sweet time properly unveiling Star Wars: Battlefront on the PlayStation 4. Originally announced all the way back at E3 2013, Swedish developer DICE has been quietly beavering away on the long awaited sci-fi reboot ever since. However, as part of the Star Wars Celebration fan event in Anaheim earlier today, the release finally made its debut, and while we weren't treated to any actual gameplay footage, we certainly know a lot more about the title now than we did at the start of the week. So, if you'll excuse us while we go all Yoda on your ass, let's look at some of the points that have emerged as part of the game's big reveal.
Battles will boast up to 40 players
Unsurprisingly, multiplayer is the big focus in Star Wars: Battlefront, and matches will host up to 40 players at a time. This is the cap, so you won't be experiencing any MAG-esque intergalactic conflicts here – in fact, combat will be more or less rooted to a particular planet's atmosphere, so don't expect to be flying from the dusty expanses of Tatooine into outer-space. Walker Assault is the name of the mode that will boast the largest player count, and we already know that Endor will be one of the compatible maps. There will be smaller game types, too, however, with playlists for just eight players if you prefer your online shooters to be a little more personal.
There won't be a traditional single player campaign
Star Wars: Battlefront will capture the 'big battle' feel from the original movie trilogy – but there won't be a Battlefield-style single player campaign here. DICE is being a teensy bit coy about specifics, but the game will instead boast a series of standalone objectives, which you'll be able to play alone or with friends. These missions will apparently be "short", but have been designed around replayability, with increasing difficulty tiers giving you a reason to come back. Whether they'll actually be successful in that department remains to be seen; we'll see more of these at E3 in June apparently.
Sony appears to be co-marketing it
We heard a little while back that Sony had locked up co-marketing rights to Star Wars: Battlefront, but we weren't ever able to pin down a secure source. It seems, however, that our contacts were on point, as today's trailer opened and closed with plenty of PlayStation branding. In fact, during the DICE panel earlier today, EA was giving away a handful of custom PS4 consoles – and the PlayStation Blog has already updated its layout, employing a big Battlefront banner as its wallpaper. What does this mean? Well, you should probably get used to the idea of this showing up during the Japanese giant's press conferences, with E3 and GamesCom almost certain to include segments on the release. We're confident that there'll be a Batman: Arkham Knight-esque hardware bundle, too – perhaps adopting a Stormtrooper theme.
The game will run at 60 frames-per-second
Much like recent Battlefield games, Star Wars: Battlefront will run at 60 frames-per-second on the PS4. Of course, we should probably include an asterisk after that sentence, because it remains to be seen how successful the title will be at maintaining that target. Sony's next-gen system has certainly proved itself a competent performer over these past couple of years, but DICE's latest is also a looker – and is likely to push the hardware extremely hard when there are 40 players on the screen. It's also unclear what resolution the release will run at: recent Battlefield games have been locked at 900p, providing a slightly blurrier image than the now standard 1080p. As the creators of EA's ubiquitous Frostbite engine, however, we're hoping that the Swedish studio has optimised the technology a bit better for this intergalactic outing.
You'll be able to play in first and third-person
One that will please fans of Pandemic's classic Battlefront games: you'll be able to switch between first-person and third-person perspectives in Star Wars: Battlefront on the PS4. As the developer didn't show any gameplay footage from the title, we haven't actually seen this feature first-hand, but an eyes-on report from Game Informer notes that the animations when over-the-shoulder are great, with troops tracking the action and keeping tabs on what's going on around them. There are conflicting reports on whether the release will feature a Call of Duty-style sights-based aiming system, but the majority of previews are stating that it won't. This would make sense, as we're not sure how the feature would work in third-person.
Darth Vader and Boba Fett will be playable
Once again, as with the classic Star Wars: Battlefront games, you'll be able to assume the role of iconic characters such as Darth Vader and Boba Fett. You'll transform into these by collecting power-ups around the level, and will be granted special abilities as a result – such as the Dark Lord's lightsaber, for example. DICE isn't saying much about these famous avatars just yet, nor is it willing to confirm which other heroes will feature in the full game. Luke Skywalker and Han Solo seem likely, though, don't they?
There'll be two-player split-screen
A feature that's missing from so many big games these days, Star Wars: Battlefront will include split-screen for at least two players. You'll be able to play through the abovementioned "campaign" missions this way, or simply join forces online. There'll also be a Partner system, which will allow you to share your progress with a pal. Essentially, if your buddy's a Battlefront newcomer, you'll be able to allocate all of your progress and unlocks to them, giving them a leg up in battle. You'll also be able to spawn on your accomplice, keeping you as close together as possible.
The Battle of Jakku will awaken in December
Did you see that big Star Destroyer in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer? That was downed in the Battle of Jakku, and you'll be able to participate in the conflict as part of a free expansion. The downloadable content – named, er, The Battle of Jakku – will be available from 8th December for everyone, while those that pre-order will be able to grab it a week earlier. We don't know a whole lot more about it at this point, other than that it'll be complimentary, and will bridge the gap between the game and the forthcoming film.
Has the Star Wars: Battlefront reveal made you feel the Force – or merely remorse? What do you make of the missing single player campaign, and do you believe that it'll look as good as the trailer indicates? Pick sides in the comments section below.
Are you looking forward to Star Wars: Battlefront? (79 votes)
- Yes, I’m going to pre-order it right now20%
- I’m intrigued, but waiting for more details61%
- No, I’m not really sure that it’s for me19%
Please login to vote in this poll.